Text from the Decretals on Excommunication


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Liber sextus Decretalium issued by Pope Boniface VIII between 1296 and 1298. Single folio on vellum. Southern France or possibly Italy, ca. 1320: 409 mm x 273 mm (justification, 263 mm x 168 mm). Double column, 53 lines in brown ink. Unfoliated. Decoration: six two-line initials alternating red and blue with contrasting penwork swags; alternating single-line red and blue initials, some with contrasting penwork; alternating red and blue pilcrows; minor line-fillers in red and blue. Text: the Decretals have a complex historical development, since promulgated collections of them were amended as succeeding popes made decrees that added new laws, enhanced others, or abrogated ones that had been superseded. Our text was issued in 1298 and was meant to supersede the Decretals of Gregory IX from ca. 1230. Our manuscript betrays extensive marginal glossing, and some interlinear scholia, in multiple contemporary hands. Contents: Book 5, titulus xi, on excommunication. Condition: from a binding, therefore slightly defective, with some creases, stains and scuffs; a lower inside corner of the margin has been removed, or perhaps a patch fell off. Yet the margins are quite wide, and the fragment entirely legible, with the exception of a few lines of glosses in the lower margin of the recto.

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